STTR Phase I: Nanoselenium for Simultaneous Detection and Capture of Mercury Vapor in Fluorescent Lighting Technology

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 0930303
Agency Tracking Number: 0930303
Amount: $150,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Awards Year: 2009
Solicitation Year: 2009
Solicitation Topic Code: MM
Solicitation Number: NSF 08-608
Small Business Information
Aspen Sciences, Inc
6300 Bridgepoint Parkway, Building One; Suite 500, Austin, TX, 78730
DUNS: 829606826
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Love Sarin
 DPhil
 (401) 965-4433
 love.sarin@gmail.com
Business Contact
 Love Sarin
Title: DPhil
Phone: (401) 965-4433
Email: love.sarin@gmail.com
Research Institution
 Brown University
 Norman J Hebert
 BOX 1929
Providence, RI, 2912
 (401) 863-2777
 Nonprofit college or university
Abstract
This award is funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Public Law 111-5). This Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase I project is focused on the development of a new technology for reducing the human health risks associated with mercury over the life-cycle of fluorescent lamps. Fluorescent lamps can break and release their internal inventory of mercury, which is a known neurotoxicant, environmental pollutant, and developmental toxicant of special concern for children and women of child-bearing age. Aspen Sciences is teaming with Brown University and ARCH Venture Partners to develop nano-selenium-based products to react with and capture mercury vapor during fluorescent lamp shipping, use, collection, and recycling. The research focuses on: (i) cost-effective nano-selenium synthesis, (ii) design and testing of reactive barriers as box or bag safety liners, (iii) study of reaction rates and sorbent color change for mercury detection, and (iv) sorbent stability during storage use and disposal. The broader impacts of this research are to ensure consumer and worker safety in the large and rapidly growing market for linear and compact fluorescent lamps. Lamps broken at home or during shipping release elemental mercury vapor in the immediate vicinity of adults and children. Approximately 80% of inhaled mercury vapor is physiologically absorbed in the lung and is able to cross the blood-brain barrier to cause neurological disorders and developmental impairment. Aspen's new sorbent can capture mercury vapor at ultra-high capacity and reduce human exposure in the $7 billion annual worldwide fluorescent lamp market, as well as remove current psychological and safety barriers to the more widespread adoption of energy-saving fluorescent technologies.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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